Founded in 2014, the Miss Nigeria USA was established with the aim of celebrating the Nigerian woman while appreciating their beauty, talent, skills and other unique attributes and goals she exhibits. The organization plans to achieve their goal through the Miss Nigeria USA Pageant event where contestants will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their physical, cultural and intellectual attributes as they choose a goodwill ambassador who will represent Miss Nigeria USA Pageant and Nigeria as a whole on a positive light.
They aim to be recognized as a leading world organization that empowers young women and supports them towards achieving their individual goals as they promote their culture.
People always ask about the designer of some of the dresses I wore on my brand material and at a few performances, well they were designed by no other than the sweet spirited Ms Afua Sam of Studio D’Maxsi. Studio D’Maxsi is the notable fashion house owned by Ghanaian Fashion Designer Afua Sam based in Washington DC . Celebrated as an innovative, sophisticated and edgy women’s wear line for the modern woman, STUDIO D’MAXSI makes unique designs for the classy, funky, chic and confident woman.
Studio D’Maxsi’s success journey so far includes having her designs grace Hollywood’s Red Carpet, the BET Honors event, the Grammys, celebrity music videos, TV and documentary appearances, styling various beauty queens, features at national & International fashion shows, multiple awards won, collaborations and much more. Full of gratitude for how far she has come, Afua Sam reflects on how she took a leap of faith traveling from Ghana to America knowing no one on arrival and despite struggles and rejections, her talent and love for fashion withstood the odds and built the strong fashion brand we know as Studio D’Maxsi today.
Afua Sam also founded ‘Operation Prom’, a ‘win a PROM dress’ competition open to deserving academically excellent high school female students.
As a single mother of two, Afua Sam has successfully pulled through balancing motherhood, health, personal struggles while pursuing her passion of fashion. Motivated by her personal story, Afua has over the years embraced social responsibility as a major part of her brand, significantly contributing her talent to support various charity events and causes. Studio D’Maxsi has contributed immensely in developing businesses, personality brands and charity organizations by supporting fundraisers and donating her designs for charities like ‘Fashion For A Cause’, ‘Pink for Africa’, ‘Tigerlily Foundation’, American Breast Cancer Foundation’ and ‘Steps For The Cure’ ; to name a few. Afua Sam herself modeled on the runway for ‘Runway Moms for A Cause’. Giving back remains an important of the vision of the brand.
In the month of June, to celebrate the ten year anniversary, there will be a giveaway to the general public of specially designed fashion items by Studio D’Maxsi with the hashtag #studiodmaxsi10years. More details on social media @dmaxsi. The new and improved website will still be hosted at www.studiodmaxsi.com and it will feature an e-commerce shopping platform for the general public and fashion lovers to shop exclusive non-couture Studio D’Maxsi designs and accessories that are for the everyday woman. Afua Sam is thankful for family, a great team of Photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, models, fashion show producers, nonprofit organizations, the media, fans, PR clients and everyone who believed in the brand over the years.
STUDIO D’MAXSI’s brand of elegant yet edgy collections has gained her a diverse clientele that also includes artists Jamie Foster Brown, Grammy nominated artist Carolyn Malachi, Miss Ghana Universe, Miss China America First Runner Up, Miss Maryland, Miss Black USA DC among others. STUDIO D’MAXSI specializes in Red carpet looks, party dresses, casual chic (men & women), wedding dresses, prom dresses, suits (men & women) and accessories-for all events.
Operation Prom’s Vision
Operation Prom seeks to make the prom night of one very special high school senior a special night to remember. It is the “giving back” vision of Ms. Afua Sam of Studio D’Maxsi. She designs a prom dress for three lucky 12th graders selected for ‘Academic Excellence’ by their one-page essays.
This is a collaborative effort with Ms. Charlene Brown, a Celebrity Hair Stylist, who has been part of the “Glam Team” since Afua started Operation Prom six years ago. Ms. Brown and the Glam Team, also provide hair and makeup for the girls during a scheduled photo shoot before the prom!
Congrats to the winners of 2016’s Operation Prom
NAMES OF STUDENT WINNERS
PHOTOGRAPHER// Marcus Bennet
HAIR // Charlene Brown
DESIGNER// Afua Sam of STUDIO D’MAXSI
Excerpt from thr winning essay by FAVOR OGU
My name is Favor Ogechi Ogu and I am a senior at Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus in Washington D.C. I am originally from Nigeria, but was born and raised in the DC metropolitan area. I have two younger sisters who look up to me as a role model and a caring mother who is my biggest support. My mother and my father are separated; I live with my mother. Growing up in a household with just a single mother and two sisters took a mental, physical and financial toll on me. I feel as though I was not exposed to nor had the same doors opened for opportunities compared to those students who have the advantage of living in a two-parent household. Yet, that did not discourage me; I took this as a way to prove myself more, as another obstacles I had to overcome…..
AYISSI NGA Joseph-Marie aka JJ DU STYLE is a fashion designer who creates very chic street wear. The French/Cameroonian designer whose father was a tailor, has decided to follow the footsteps of pioneer Cameroonian fashion designers such as Imane Ayissi and Martial Topolo by creating his own clothing line called ‘WAZAL’ which was launched in 2005.
In 2006, he launched his first designs which are worn by celebrities like SINGUILA, Alpeco, WAYNE BECKFORD, ROMARIC Koffi and Lalcko. His brand “WAZAL” is a blend of “WAZA”, the name of a natural park in the extreme north of Cameroon and the letter “L” which stands for Lion, the Cameroonian symbol of power.
ABOUT WAZAL COUTURE:
WAZAL COUTURE fashion line that expresses innovations, new styles and creativity. Mixing various colors and prints, he adds and blends other materials/fabrics such as pure cotton, denim jean, wax, leather, fur, synthetic to create a blended ambiance. He got his professional training from VANESSA RUIZ fashion school in Paris and he later on specialized in creating tuxedo jackets. The first collection was in 2013 – “Tete fly.”
In 2013, he was part of the guests of the Ambassador of Cameroon to Paris for the exhibition of the feast of the Cameroonian youth and the Fashion Night Lounge at the Elysee Palace in Paris, where he presented his three concepts: WazalRock, fly Tété and Africafutur.
These concepts are based on values that symbolized his career: Daring, Respect and Creation. Wazal’s cuts and designs are impressive, modern and trendy.
His 2015 collection of tuxedo jackets inspired by a Cameroonian slang, “tété” means wealthy (bourgeois) chic.
Loving the social campaign integrated as a marketing effort by the fashion retail site ‘The Limited’ tagged ‘The New Look of Leadership’. Brands are now developing ways to connect on the “real human” level with potential consumers/clients. Thanks to the new media age for making this easier and more effective.
TheLimited.com put together a selection of women from different fields, expressing a message of the perception of what #LeadingLooksLike :
Leading is a way of approaching life–and in today’s world, there are infinite shapes it can take. It’s time the definition fit them all. So we’re calling on leaders of all types to help build a vibrant community of inspirational women. Together, we will re-create the picture of empowerment to reflect the authentic, modern leaders we see every day—answering the question, “What does leading look like?” with you. And her. And us.THE POSSIBILITIES ARE UNLIMITED.
Click Play: : Watch the Video
In other news, my social media feed has recently been saturated with lovely & delectable designs from the just concluded Lagos Fashion & Design Week which took place towards the end of October, 2015. LFDW is a premiere fashion event which brings together media, industry, buyers and consumers to view the current collections of designers in Nigeria, West Africa.
For the past 5 years, LFDW has remained dedicated to the growth and promotion of creatives in the industry by nurturing, fine tuning, rewarding their skills and providing them with a solid platform for achieving their goals.
This vision is primarily centered on providing on-going support to designers via mentor ship, education and capacity building as well as opportunities to present their work before an audience that facilitates commerce.
And as is my custom with fashion weeks, here’s my 7 favorite designer selections from the showcases at the Heineken LFDW2015. All photos are via LFDW (Follow at @LFDW_NG) Photo Credits: Kola Oshalusi (Insigna).
The use of a denim pant as gele is such an eclectic idea. I love the unusual and this is such a welcoming one, something I would do. Brilliant!
LANRE DA SILVA AJAYI
The headpiece, the flow of the fabric!
The mustard color, the styling..
The work of an artist friend Laolu Senbanjo was incorporated in this fabric design. Kudos!
The simplicity, the flow, the vibrancy, the fabric texture combos.
The bohemian look :), the vintage feel, the nudes..
The girliness, the playfulness, the cuteness..
Last, but not least
The Art, the artsy backdrop..this is not just fashion, this is art on canvas.. very eclectic!
These are my personal preferences and in no way serve as an endorsement out of the about 25 designers who showcased at the event, check out the other designers to see their work.
Beautifully Dreaming…Positively Doing!
Organically Singing the album, now available for download here!
STUDIO D’MAXSI ANNOUNCES SPRING/SUMMER 2015 COLLECTION
DC based Fashion House STUDIO D’MAXSI launches SS15 line ‘The Royal Collection’
WASHINGTON, DC (February 2015) – STUDIO D’MAXSI announces the launch of her SS15 line the ‘Royal Collection’ which retails exclusively online at http://www.studiodmaxsi.com. The line is inspired by the essence and value of a strong woman. The color theme incorporates a bright golden yellow, beige and purple. A diverse range of fabrics are used including, lace, chiffon, silk and of course African print.
Owner of STUDIO D’MAXSI, Afua Sam, award winning fashion designer says of the collection:
“The name of this collection came about last year when there was so many things happening personally that I felt like I won’t be able to design or do what I love anymore. I had the opportunity to have some alone time and one thing was consistent – how being a woman is important. I observed my mom’s strength and how she handles every obstacle or adversity that comes her way. It dawned on me how special women are, we are all ROYALS and that’s how the collection was inspired. I think as women, we need to be more aware of our strength, endurance and dignity”.
The ‘Royal Collection’ features fashion wear with a variety of looks and fabulous unique styling that STUDIO D’MAXSI is known for. They will be available in all sizes, at affordable prices on the website, made to order only.
Studio D’Maxsi was currently recognized and is up for votes for the ‘Fashion Designer of the Year’ by RepYoGrind Awards to give recognition to entrepreneurs who love what they do, have a strong brand and help the future generation achieve their dreams. You can vote for Studio D’Maxsi here . Voting ends March 10, 2015.
With the launch of this new Royal collection, STUDIO D’MAXSI will be working on a couple of new projects and collaborations to reveal her new direction. Clients and fashion industry insiders can check the website at http://www.studiodmaxsi.com for more information and updates.
ABOUT STUDIO D’MAXSI
Celebrated as an innovative, sophisticated and edgy women’s wear line for the modern woman; STUDIO D’MAXSI is a fashion design house owned by Afua Sam. STUDIO D’MAXSI is known for her unique, classy and chic couture designs. STUDIO D’MAXSI has featured in various fashion shows and in 2014 won two prestigious awards namely the ‘High Fashion Designer Award’ at Fashion Awards DMV and the ‘Design Challenge Winner’ at the American Breast Cancer Foundation MD. Runway show features include Maryland Fashion Week, DC Fashion Week, Crystal Couture, Runway Moms for a Cause and various charitable fashion events. STUDIO D’MAXSI was cast in the 2014 DC fashion documentary ‘The Politics of Fashion: DC Unboxed’. Afua Sam also founded ‘Operation Prom’, a ‘win a PROM dress’ competition open to deserving academically excellent, high school female students (coming up soon is Operation Prom 2015 in the DMV) STUDIO D’MAXSI’s diverse clientele include Jamie Foster Brown, Grammy nominated artist Carolyn Malachi, guests of BET Honors Awards event, Miss Ghana Universe, Miss China America First Runner Up, Miss Maryland, Miss Black USA DC among others.
Attolle Clothiers, an Afrocentric bespoke ladies fashion line was founded in 2002 by Bookey Itoandon – an Attorney who followed her passion for Fashion. Her love for fashion, sketching and fabric selection led her to follow a career in fashion.
In 2004, she relocated from Nigeria to United States to raise her family and further her education; and by August 2011 she re-birthed Attollé Clothiers in Houston Texas USA.
Over the years, her collections have featured contemporary ready-to-wear pieces with select bespoke outfits crafted primarily from printed cotton wax popularly known as African Wax Print or Ankara Wax Print. In 2010, she showcased at the Goonstyle fashion show in Houston Texas. The collection received a great review and she was invited back in 2011 and 2012. She also participated in the NAMC show in 2012.
Her collection was featured for the first time in 2012 at the AFWNY (African Fashion Week New York). The Attollé collection received an outstanding review that led to an invitation for her to showcase for the second time in 2013. Celeb personalities like Sarah TD Jakes have also been seen wearing her collection.
Bookey has become consistent with her vision to make every woman look elegant regardless of color, size and shape as she continues to develop bold and stunning pieces for all.
One of the African Designers that I truly admire their work, South African David Tlale represented (as usual), beautifully at the New York Fashion Week with his stunning collection.
His Spring/Summer 15 collection unveiled cohesive looks of affluent prints and patented burgundy-red off set with bold, pure white. In Tlale’s words this spring collection aims to “[give]women back their power and [equip] them with a strong and confident sense of allure, without losing their essence and femininity.” – (via okayfrica)
David Tlale Presents S/S 15 with Tyson Beckford At Mercedes-Benz NYFW –
And here are some of my favorite picks below.
About David Tlale
Over the 11 years since Tlale launched his brand, South Africa native David Tlale has showcased his inimitable designs at all the premium fashion week platforms and etched his mark as a favorite on the South African and African fashion landscapes. Renowned for his undeniable knack for showmanship and elaborate designs, Tlale’s work is both daring and elegant—a brand that defies convention and a brand that impenitently employs unpredictable use and understanding of fabric, color and texture. David Tlale has taken his work around the world, and partnered with a number of influential brands in South Africa. In 2009, he was awarded Fashion Designer of the year at the Africa Fashion Awards in Johannesburg, and later made his debut at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week with a collection entitled “Cultural Intimacy.” It was in early 2011, for the Autumn/Winter Collection at Jo’burg Fashion Week, David Tlale presented his quintessential “Made In The City” Collection in celebration of the 92 years of Nelson Mandela’s life, Tlale sent 92 models down the ramp on what was deemed the longest ramp in the history of South African fashion: the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg. Tlale since his debut on catwalks, has been a ambassador for the “Change-4-Ever Campaign”, an initiative that aims to alleviate poverty in Southern Africa.
David Tlale has enjoyed outstanding exposure on both local and International catwalks, but his label goes beyond just fashion. The proudest moment for Tlale was being The First South African Fashion designer to show case Solo at the Mercedes Benz Fashion week New York in September 2012. For more visit http://www.davidtlale.com/the-brand.html
***Speaking of South Africa, a friend needs your support to sponsor her on her mission to SA via Dramatic Need. Dramatic Need’s core mission is to bring the creative arts to underprivileged children in the poorest parts of South Africa and Rwanda. If you are like me, any thing that has to do with the creative arts, giving back and Africa pulls my heartstrings..
Yasmin says —
I have been chosen as a volunteer to teach drama in rural Free State, South Africa, for a month spanning from October to late November.Dramatic Need is an amazing charity, devoted to enforcing the arts as a form of creative outlet for children in economically deprived African communities… something that I am very passionate about.After graduating last year with a degree in English and Drama, and feeling like my skills weren’t being fully utilized/valued here, I figured it’d be a good idea to go somewhere else and make myself useful!
Entries for the South African edition of ELLE Magazine 2014 ELLE Rising Star Design Award are now open. Entries opened on 14 July 2014 and the entry form can be downloaded from www.elle.co.za. The last date for submitting entries is 11 August 2014. The good news: The competition is not limited to South Africa but continent wide. ELLE in association with clothing retailer Mr Price are searching for Africa’s most promising Fashion Designer. Previous winners include David Tlale, Anisa Mpungwe and most recently Nicholas Coutts. So if you dream of a career in fashion, launching your own label and to be mentored by ELLE and Mr Price, this is for you.
The 2014 ELLE Rising Star Design Award in association with Mr Price is presented by African Fashion International (AFI) and the search will culminate at the prestigious Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa 2014 where the finalists will show their designs and the the winner will be announced. ELLE and Mr Price are passionate about nurturing talent and giving Africa’s young designers the tools and the platform to grow.
For more info – #RisingStarAfrica2014 @mrpfashion @ellemagazinesa @afi_sa on Twitter and visit www.elle.co.za
It gives me joy to write about Africans in the Diaspora who are talented and getting the well deserved attention for their excellent creative works. Multiple award winning and highly sought after Ghanaian fashion designer, Afua Sam is one on the spotlight in the fashion industry. The founder and brain behind STUDIO D’MAXSI, one of the fastest growing fashion houses based in Washington, DC. Unique, innovative, and edgy STUDIO D’MAXSI, creates masterpieces for the chic, bold and funky modern woman. Born to a family of six, remarkably self-taught Afua draws her creative artistic inspiration from her late father who was a touring musician and her rich Ghanaian culture. Having come from a poor and humble background, Afua’s journey in fashion and design started in Ghana, West Africa and continued after she relocated to the USA. Despite hardships and personal life challenges she faced growing up and also later in life , fashion designing was the only thing that kept her going.
STUDIO D’MAXSI ‘s first collection was in 2007 for DC Fashion week; numerous fashion shows followed, charity based ones like Fashion Fight Poverty, Steps To The Cure, Fashion Fusion, Fashion For World Peace, others like the New York African Fashion Week, Golden Scissors Awards Show, among numerous others and recently ‘Runway For Moms’ just to name a few.
Here I am in one of her designs – 🙂
The ‘Fashion Designer of the Year’ ( 2nd Annual African Awards USA) award winner is also passionate about giving back and empowering young women through her Foundation – Operation Prom. ‘Operation Prom’ is a competition open to academically excellent high school female students who will get a custom made prom dress. Her clientele include Jamie Foster Brown, Grammy nominated Artist Carolyn Malachi, Glynn Jackson of the Golden Scissors Awards Show, Abiodun Koya Opera Singer, Miss Ghana Universe , Miss China America First Runner Up, Miss Maryland, Miss Black USA DC among others . For more info on STUDIO D’MAXSI, visit http://www.studiodmaxsi.com/
Afua says “My message through my fashion brand is “Be As Bold As You Can Be But Very Chic And Sexy At The Same Time” Afua believes her life’s story is a perfect example of what can happen when one is not afraid to go after their dreams no matter how poor or disadvantaged they may be. She believes “you don’t have to be rich to help anybody. As long as you have a voice and a will, you can have an impact on someone’s life. You don’t have to be somebody’ in order to make a difference”
Directed and Written by Elaine Mensah of SVELTE LLC, ‘The Politics of Fashion: DC UNBOXED’ is DC’s first ever fashion documentary, a film that takes you on a journey from the perception of DC fashion by the outside world, through its evolution in retail, style, and business, to the debate about whether or not DC fashion is heading towards a true industry or is just a fashionable city. It opens in AMC Theaters in Friendship Heights, DC on June 3, 2014. For more information, visit http://thepoliticsoffashion.com/
The Politics of Fashion: DC UNBOXED hosts other nationally recognized cast, including Pulitzer winning fashion writer & critic Robin Givhan, runway coach extraordinaire Miss J Alexander, Washiontonian Magazine fashion editor Kate Bennett, Gilt City DC senior curator Marissa Schneider, Bloomingdale’s Operating Vice President & GM Susan Cannaday and many more. See the full cast list on IMDb.
Parents of the abducted Nigerian schoolgirls are still holding out hope for their safe return, two weeks after they were kidnapped.Unconfirmed reports emerged yesterday that some girls may have been taken to neighbouring countries and sold as brides.The Government Girls Secondary school in the Chibok area of Borno state was stormed by gunmen believed to be from the separatist group Boko Haram on April 14. Official figures say 129 girls were abducted but the school’s principal said 230 were taken and about 187 are still being held – aworldatschool.org. The complacency of the Nigerian government incited a social media public uproar to get the international community’s attention to help track down and rescue the girls with the hashtag – #BringBackOurGirls #BringBackOurDaughters
There is a petition on change.org that can be signed also.
Creatives are weighing in anyway they can and in New York city on May 3. Finding Paola (Paola) of Fanmdjanm and LoveFola (FolaSade) of 1953 who both own headwrap lines, are coming together to to be part of a headwrap/gele wearing rally to bring awareness to the issue, an event tagged “Rock A Crown for #234” taking place in various US cities.
Folasade of 1953 collection says on her instagram:
234 female secondary school students were abducted from their boarding school by a group of people who are believed to be a part of the Boko Haram sect in Chibok, NorthEastern, Nigeria. The girls (between 16 and 18-years-old) had literally just finished their final school exams and were rounded up at gunpoint. New reports are suggesting the missing were sold as brides to Islamist militants for 2,000 naira This literally hit very close to home. I have young cousins both Christian and Muslim living in Nigeria who value their education. And to think that they can’t achieve the education they desire without worrying about their lives is quite baffling, shocking and heartbreaking … So this actually did hit home because I’m praying that this will never happen to my family members and praying for the families who are suffering at this very moment. WEAR YOUR CROWN WITH A PURPOSE || Please join us on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 in Union Square for a prayer and to bring awareness so that this situation can be given the right level of coverage in international media. I will also be providing headwraps from the #1953Headwrap Collection. Wear your crown with a purpose! These 234 girls need to be found and returned to the safety of their families and homes. KINDLY SPREAD THE WORD!! #1953for234#234#bringbackourgirls#rockacrownfor234#my234crown#gelefor234#1953#howiwearmycrown#wearyourcrownwithapurposeSigns and Posters are WELCOME!! See you Saturday.
Paola Mathe is the Owner of Fanm Djanm. Fanm Djanm means strong woman. A headwrap line and brand to celebrate strong women around the world. For more info, check the site
As we keep prayers up for the girls and the affected families, we will all weigh in on what we can do to get our leaders, home and abroad, to overpower this jungle army and bring the girls back home, every little bit of effort goes a long way….